With so many self-proclaimed “experts,” how do you set yourself apart as the real deal? Gain trust and stand out from all the rest! Here’s how to create quality content, make yourself a publicity magnet, and consistently deliver to your audience. Follow the below advice and you’ll have trust (and notoriety) in no time.
Become the King or Queen of Content
Define What Makes You Different
Let’s say you’re a self-help coach and author. What makes you stand out? Maybe you infuse comedy into it and have a knack for storytelling. Perfect. You can tell your audience that you serve self-helpers who want to laugh throughout the process. Market your self-help services as someone who will help others with self-help – without taking the process too seriously.
Write About What You Know
This may sound like an old cliché – but it’s true, and a time saver. Stick with one area of expertise at a time and target your audience with it. Remember that attention spans are shorter than ever. So if you have expert advice and you’re clever or funny, you are more likely to get the read.
Do Your Research
It takes a lot of knowledge to be an expert. Even when you are, it’s important to stay current. Remember to research in valid places. Do not take Wikipedia’s word for it (no offense to Wikipedia). For academic level sources, it’s as easy as trying out Google Scholar at scholar.google.com. Otherwise, use your common sense – does it seem trustworthy? If the answer is iffy, find another source.
Teach Others How to DO Something
Have you ever wondered why there are so many how to do ‘x’ lists? Simply stated, it’s because they work! Our brains love lists and there is research to prove it. According to this article featured on NewYorker.com, lists powerfully pull us in because we like certainty. They make us feel good because lists organize things for us. We also know we’ll have time for it. Make it easy for the masses to read your work with this format.
Welcome (and Attract) Publicity
Write for Publicity (Not for Fee)
There is an important distinction between writing for free and writing for publicity. I would never tell you to provide your work for ‘free’. I wrote an entire article on the subject, 7 Reasons Why I Don’t Do Free. To learn how to convert your free work to paid work (or to know how to draw the line), check out my “Converting Free to Paid” program.
Take the Opportunity to Speak Wherever and Whenever Possible
Scared of public speaking? You aren’t alone. Forbes wrote an article about the real-life accounts of stage fright. Everyone from an investment broker to an advertising executive were able to overcome it. See it here. Once the fear is out of the way, think about places you can speak at. Think about places you already attend and friends who already speak. Can you introduce them or speak with them at an event? If you don’t know anyone, brainstorm. Think about everything from clubs to non-profits who might need speakers. But be sure to polish your presentation before taking on professional organizations, advises this Entrepreneur.com article.
Take on Joint Venture Deals
Is there someone who has already earned the trust of your audience? And maybe you have their desired audience, too? Even if you are just starting out, you should consider Joint Ventures. They have potential to reach a bigger audience than you would alone.
Give the People What They Want
Give People a Place to Connect…
with you (Facebook groups). A good Facebook group can be just the engagement tool you need.
Encourage Their Feedback (Testimonials)
Don’t underestimate the power of a good testimonial. It can be nerve wracking to ask for one, but don’t let that stop you. Just be sure to keep it brief. A few simple questions are all you need. Include one about their initial trepidation and one about their favorite aspect of the service/product. Want more advice? Read about the 3 Quick Questions That Get the Testimonials You Need to Have here.
Stay Active on Social Media
It is very important that once you set up an account, you do not abandon it. It’s better to have the basics and be active on them: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Too many times, I have seen Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, and other tools set up only to be abandoned for lack of results. Be sure that you’re keeping up with just the few accounts you decide to use. You’ll have a better online reputation, and less stress. I’d suggest focusing on one core social media network (the one where your customers and prospects are most likely to be and that works for your business model) with regular, daily updates and to have a single update a day on the others. If you plan this out well, it should take you (or a Virtual Assistant!) 5 minutes a day to share the same thing across different networks.
No matter the area, it is clear that consistency in every area of trust building is key. Only start processes you know you will keep up with. But don’t worry, if a project changes direction and you have trust built, your loyal followers will shift with you. See below for some other tips and tools for trust building.
- Find out 17 Ways to Build Authority here from Copyblogger.com.
- Stumped on ideas for content that will get your name out there as an expert, specifically blog posts? Try this generator from Portent.com to get your creative juices flowing.
- Always stay on top of what is ‘trending’ in order to be a leader in your field. I recommend starting with twitter’s featured trends here and Google trends here.
- For those who want social media statistics, here’s an Instagram one. Find out why you should be using Instagram here.
- In case you want to go the public speaking route but are a little afraid of it, check this It’s an entrepreneur’s true story about overcoming it.
- If you like to research as you brainstorm, this list of 101 Simple Ways to Build Trust will be a nice launching pad for you.
- For advice on how to build online and offline credibility, read this post by SmallBizTrends.com, 5 Steps to Establishing Yourself as an Expert.